by David Garcelon for The Fairmont Royal York, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter‘
Haggis is the most traditional of all Scottish dishes, eaten on Burns Night (January 25th, the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, 1759-1796) and at Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve).
It is really just a large round sausage; the skin being a sheep’s paunch.
The finest haggis of all is made with deer liver, served to the skirl of the pipes, cut open with a traditional sgian dubh (black stocking knife) and accompanied by small glasses of neat Scottish whisky.
This recipe, which we use at The Fairmont Royal York, dates from 1856.
1 large sausage casing
5 cups dry coarse or steel cut oatmeal
1 lb. (0.5 kg) chopped suet
1 lb. (0.5 kg) lamb or venison liver, braised then minced
2 cups beef or lamb stock
Lamb meat, liver, and kidney, boiled and minced
1 large chopped onion
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Toast oatmeal slowly until crisp. Mix all ingredients (except sausage casing ) together. Add stock.
Fill casings to just over half full, press out air, and tie up securely. Have ready a large pot of simmering water. Prick the haggis all over with a large pin so it doesn’t burst. Simmer slowly for 3-4 hours.
Serve with neeps and tatties , a traditional Scottish dish that combines mashed potatoes and swede turnips with chives, butter or drippings, salt and pepper.